Short, thick-bodied, mulishly stubborn, and indifferent to pain, Dashiell Hammett's Continetal Op was the prototype for generations of tough-guy detectives. In these stories the Op unravels a murder with too many clues, looks for a girl with eyes the color of shadows on polished silver, and tangles with a crooked-eared gunman called the Whosis Kid.
About the Author
Date of Birth:May 27, 1894
Date of Death:January 10, 1961
Place of Birth:St. Mary, Maryland
Place of Death:New York
Education:Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Continental Op is a collection of short stories about an unnamed, unappreciated private detective who set many of the patterns for which American detective stories of the "hard boiled" school became famous. The stories are crisp and taut and don't really seem dated.
As a fan of the Crime Noir Movies I sought to find the inspiriation for those great characters and dialogue. I was pleasantly surprised to find the dialogue I loved so much in those classic films was directly influenced by the wrirters of the original novels. I found this novel as comforting and enjoyable as sitting to watch those old films. With the added benefit of my imagination playing out the story in glorious black and white.
The stories are written with precision but never drabness. They have such a rich depth to them that it keeps the reader's interest occupied. The dialogue is plain with vernacular from the 20's and true to life. You feel like you're in the same room, car, or street corner listening to the character's conversations. The descriptions of people, places, and things are so vivid yet compact. You can see it all in your mind and the plot hooks you and suddenly you're caught up and can't put the book down. I loved this book because of the short stories that allowed me to put the book down once and a while!